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ihgSo we stayed a few weeks ago at a Holiday Inn  (part of the IHG chain) and so I was doing a bit of research about whether points + cash stays would earn rewards or not.  I had purchased a few points as part of the Daily Getaways, but only bought 10,000 points, and the Holiday Inn Chicago Countryside where we were staying is a Category 2 hotel, which costs 15,000 points a night.

With IHG you have the ability to pay with Points + Cash.  For a Category 2 hotel, you have a couple of different options:

  • Pay the full 15,000 points
  • Pay 10,000 points + $35
  • Pay 5,000 points + $70

This is actually an easy way to get IHG points at 0.7 cents per point.  You pay the $70 for the extra 10,000 points, then cancel the reservation, and you get the 10,000 points in your account

Do Points + Cash stays count for rewards?

The ability to pay with points and cash is not unique to IHG – most of the other hotel chains also allow it.  But they all have different rules about what those points + cash hotel stays actually mean.  At Starwood, even full on award stays count towards earning elite status.  When I had to pay a resort fee for an award stay at the Hilton Beach Fort Lauderdale, I earned points on that purchase.

Since you can earn a ton of points for paid stays at IHG, due to stackable promotions, this would be a very lucrative thing.

Alas, it was not to be….

You’re actually buying points

With some hotel chains, the points + cash reservation is actually one reservation.  With IHG, once you tell them that you want to book with Points + Cash, you’re taken to the following screen

ihgbookingAs you can see, you’re actually purchasing the extra points (5,000 for me in this case).  Unfortunately it appears that doing so makes the purchase not code as “travel”, which means it was not eligible for a rebate with the Barclay Arrival card. 🙁

After I went through the booking process, and got my confirmation, my fears were confirmed

ihgbooking2Indeed – 0 points to be earned as a non-qualifying stay.  So there you have it – if you are trying to earn IHG points, you’ll have to have a full-on paid stay.


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